Martin Plowman started on the pole for the first time in his 24 Firestone Indy Lights races. He led his first laps in two seasons of competition. And the Englishman won his first race since competing in the Asian-Pacific (karting) Championships in Japan.
“It's been a long time coming,” Plowman deadpanned after driving the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers/KEP Printing entry for AFS Racing Andretti Autosport to Victory Circle in the Mid-Ohio 100. “To finally get it after so much hard work...I've got such a great team behind me in AFS Andretti. Michael (Andretti), Gary (Petersen) and Stu (Kenworthy) my engineer. But also my parents and all of Team Plowey who couldn't be here today. They are working hard to get me into IndyCar next year."
Plowman became the fifth different winner in nine Firestone Indy Lights races this season.
"I put in 40 consistent laps," he said. "I knew the only way I could beat (front-row starter) Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) was not make a mistake and that's what I did. I'm with a great team this year and the results are starting to pay off.”
Dan Clarke finished 0.8443sec behind in the No. 40 Wasteco Deans Knight Special for Walker Racing, tying his season high. Charlie Kimball finished third for his seventh top five.
Plowman led every lap of the caution-free race, but through lap 35 didn't have more than a 0.7949sec advantage over James Hinchcliffe in the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit. On lap 36, however, Hinchcliffe's car ventured off course in Turn 5, dropping him to seventh.
Hinchcliffe, second in the standings entering the race, was pushing to both overtake Plowman for his third victory of the season and subsequently gain more points over championship leader J.K. Vernay, who was running eighth. It obviously didn't work out that way.
Suddenly, Plowman didn't see the yellow and white car in his mirrors and nursed his lead over Clarke to the twin checkered flags. Plowman extended his streak of running at the finish to 19 over two seasons (last year with Panther Racing). He's started and finished in the top 10 in every race.
Bryan Herta Autosport teammates Stefan Wilson and Sebastian Saavedra finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Adrian Campos Jr. was sixth in the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car.
Hinchcliffe did cut the points deficit from 55 to 53, and Plowman moved into a tie for second with 306 points.